District councillors unanimously oppose increase in closed road quota

Finally, something all of Lantau can agree on: we don’t want more cars.

In a rare show of unity, Islands District Councillors have voted unanimously to reject a proposal to increase the number of temporary vehicle permits for South Lantau.

The Transport Department is planning to double the number of private vehicle permits from 25 to 50 and to trial the introduction of non-Lantau taxis and motorbikes.

It argues that its one-day permit scheme has been a success because of its popularity, with demand far exceeding supply.

In a paper to the council, it said that since the scheme began in February 2016 the total number of vehicle trips to South Lantau via Tung Chung Road had not risen. The government had added alleviated pressure on parking with another 148 spaces in Mui Wo, Pui O and Tai O.

But in a meeting on Monday councillors rounded on department officials, complaining they had wasted their time, inmediahk reports.

South Lantao rural committee chairman Ho Chun-fai said the department didn’t understand that South Lantau Road was below standard and full of dangerous turns.  Tung Chung rural committee chief Wong Chau-ping said it had been just “good luck” that there had been no increase in accidents since the scheme began.

Council chairman Randy Yu reprimanded the department for not understanding Lantau’s road and parking conditions, complaining that they “only talked about numbers.”

He said South Lantau lacked sufficient parking spaces, and there were frequent conflicts between people and vehicles.

“Go to Mui Wo Take a look, go to South Lantau to take a look, and go to Tai O to take a look,” he said.

Yu said his objection wasn’t aimed at outsiders, but it was necessary to deal with the feelings and needs of the residents in the area first.

The council rejected the proposal 15-0.

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